Instagram Shopping 101
Brands have been using Instagram to raise awareness and nurture customer relationships for a long time now, but they recently discovered another function that turns this social network into a genuine eCommerce platform.
We are talking about Instagram shopping, a feature that has taken the business world by storm because it allowed companies to sell products through Instagram directly.
Even though the function is barely two years old, reports reveal that 11% of the US social media users already shop on Instagram.
Instagram shopping adds a new layer of comfort to the purchasing experience, so it must become a fundamental weapon in your social media arsenal.
In this post, we will explain the key facts about Instagram shopping and show you how to set it up on your posts in a step by step manner.
Let’s take a look!
The Basics of Instagram Shopping
Before we dive deeper into the technicalities of Instagram shopping, we need to explain what it really means and represents.
This feature enables companies to connect product catalogs with their Instagram accounts in order to sell directly through this social media network.
You can tag any given product from the catalog just like you can tag one of your Instagram connections.
Keep in mind that Instagram shopping is available only if you sell physical products.
In other words, a lab report writer at the best essay writing service UK cannot use the feature to promote high-quality college papers, assignments, and dissertations.
The same goes for all other businesses offering services instead of tangible products.
Users can recognize shoppable posts by a shopping bag icon that goes with the image.
You are free to add up to five product tags to a single Instagram post or up to 20 items in case you are creating an image carousel. If users tap one of your products, they get to see the following information:
- Product name and photos
- A brief description of the product
- A URL leading to the same product on your website
- A list of ancillary products
With so many product-related details available at a glance, Instagram essentially becomes a full-time eCommerce shop.
Benefits of Shoppable Instagram Posts
We bet you can spot the main advantages of launching a product catalog on Instagram, but there are so many useful features that deserve to be mentioned here.
Let’s take a look at the most important benefits Instagram shopping can give you:
- Effortless product discoverability: The average Instagram user spends almost a full hour on this platform every day. This is more than enough time for everyone to discover your products and see what you have to offer.
- Opportunity to maximize the profit: Needless to say, Instagram shopping allows you to maximize the profit simply by selling more products.
- Seize the power of visual marketing: As a visual platform, Instagram is ideal for product-oriented companies looking for new ways to advertise their portfolio.
- Improved customer experience: Jake Gardner, a digital marketer at the dissertation writing service, explains that the new sales function makes it possible to integrate social networking and shopping: “As a result, you can build a rounded and improved customer experience on Instagram”.
- Generate impulse purchases: Most users still don’t treat Instagram as an eCommerce store, so you might catch them by surprise and generate lots of impulse purchases with shoppable posts.
6 Steps to Launch Instagram Shopping
Instagram shopping is not nuclear physics, but you need to be careful and follow the platform’s instructions step by step. Here are six things you need to do in order to launch the feature.
Create a Facebook Shop and follow the Instagram policy rules
You probably know that Instagram is a member of the broader Facebook group, so the first thing you need to do is to create a Facebook Shop.
After that, you need to read and check the eligibility criteria because Instagram does not allow everyone to sell products on the platform.
You can find more eligibility-related information on the Facebook shopping guide for Instagram.
Create a product catalog
The second step might take you a while to figure out, but it all breaks down to this: It is necessary to design a product catalog in order to start selling things on Instagram.
Here’s how it works for eCommerce businesses:
Create a product catalog on Shopify → Synchronize the catalog with Facebook Shop → Synchronize the catalog with Instagram
Set up your Instagram sales channel in Shopify
Now that you have the catalog, it is time to set up your Instagram sales channel in Shopify.
All it takes is to enter the dashboard and select the option “Sales Channels.”
You will see Instagram as one of the options over there, so you only need to hit the + button to activate Instagram and turn it into a new sales channel via Shopify.
Wait for the official approval
Step four is really not that complicated, but it will take you some time and nerves.
Namely, this is the period of approval when Instagram needs to review your eligibility and make sure that everything is fine with your store.
The process usually takes a few business days.
Choose the right Facebook shop for your Instagram store
Some companies launch multiple shops on Facebook, so it’s necessary to choose the right one for your Instagram store. You can do it in the Settings section of your Instagram account.
Start selling products on Instagram
Now that your Instagram account is complete, you can finally start selling products. Simply create a new post and tag the corresponding products – that’s all it takes to enable Instagram shopping.
Best Tips to Boost Sales on Instagram
Now that you are all set for launching an Instagram product catalog, we must also give you a few additional tips on how to boost your sales results. Here are the most important suggestions:
- Appealing content is still critical: Keep in mind that Instagram lives and breathes visual content, which means that you have to pair products with high-quality and appealing images or videos.
- Improve discoverability with hashtags: Another important tip is to find and use the right hashtags because they make your shoppable posts easily discoverable on Instagram.
- Show how your products work: You can showcase the product yourself or hire an influencer to explain how a given item works in real-life.
- Offer discounts and promo codes: A lot of customers are waiting for discounts before completing the purchase, so you can offer promo codes every now and then to drive user engagement.
- Make it stylish: Although your goal is to sell products via Instagram, don’t forget to keep your efforts discrete and stylish. Your followers are looking for quality content first and you must respect their wishes.
- Keep it inclusive: Way too many brands make the mistake of hiring breathtaking models to promote their products. While it is the obvious choice, you should know that the audience is often looking for something more natural. Therefore, you should keep the content inclusive and attractive to all audience groups.
The Bottom Line
Instagram shopping is a crucial social media feature for all companies selling physical products.
It makes the purchasing experience faster and more comfortable, so it would be foolish not to add shoppable posts to your Instagram marketing strategy.
In this article, we explained all there is to know about Instagram shopping and showed you how to set it up in a simple step by step manner.
Make sure to follow our tips and utilize Instagram shopping – it will boost follower engagement and help you grow revenue in the long run.